Several of the Buffalo Soldiers stationed at Fort
Buford earned distinctions. Among them were
men who had earned the Medal of Honor and
others who achieved "firsts" for African
American men.
In 1890, the Army and Navy Journal
announced that the rifle team for the
Department of Dakota included officers
and enlisted men from both white and black
regiments, including Pvt. John Gordon of
Company B, 25th Infantry. Gordon emerged
from the competition as the best marksman in
Moses Williams was a
the Department of Dakota. He was the first
legendary sergeant of the
African American soldier to do so. 24th Infantry. It took 15
years, and his own request,
to be nominated for and
Sgt. Moses Williams was born into slavery in receive the Medal of Honor.
1845. In 1866, he enlisted in the 9th Cavalry and
served in Texas and New Mexico, where he was
distinguished in battle. During a fight with
Apaches in 1881, he drew fire while his troops
rescued three comrades. For this he received
the Medal of Honor in 1896. In 1886, Williams
was the first African American to be appointed
ordnance sergeant, a
position that required four
years of service as a
noncommissioned officer
and top physical condition. In 1891, Williams
reenlisted in the 10th Cavalry at Fort Buford. mesa a
In 1895, when Fort Buford closed, he went to is known about his life or
West Battery at the mouth of the Columbia River tmeaior ds
(in what is now Oregon), where he took charge of
22 large cannon and ordnance.
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